Monday, July 31, 2023

Thanks for visiting my Christmas kitchen!


 I think I'll end this month as I began it -- with a Christmas card adapted by my grandmother for use as a Christmas kitchen gift tag.  What's especially fun is that since that earlier post, I've come across the actual card, so I can show you the inscription in her very own elegant handwriting.

And I had thought this was only the card front -- but no, it was the entire complete Christmas card, so I'm guessing perhaps she used this same card design for her tag more than one Christmastime.  I'm so glad to have found the complete card, for I love the message inside it:

Isn't that a sweet sentiment?  "Well-seasoned wishes"!  I love it!  

I hope you've enjoyed Christmas in July here in my kitchen.  It's been fun for me -- and it's also been very nice to think of snow and cold during what has been a hot, humid July here in New Hampshire.

I hope to post more regularly in the coming months, so I'll see you all again soon!

Sunday, July 30, 2023

One more poem: "A Christmas Song"


Here is one last poem as Christmas in July begins to draw to a close.  This is another that I found in a vintage Christmas Ideals magazine, and is by a favorite poet, Mildred L. Jarrell.


Joyfully upon the air
There comes a sweet refrain,
For carols bring the message
That it's Christmastime again.

Music ringing round the town
Proclaims the Savior's birth,
Filling hearts with hope anew
Of peace to men on earth.

Harken to the angels' song;
Let earth receive her King;
Filled with spirit, loud and strong,
Lift up your voice and sing.

Keep in your heart a Christmas song,
And let the words convey
The message of the carols
To all men this Christmas day.

-- Mildred L. Jarrell

This just conjures up images from vintage Christmas carol books, don't you think? The one at top seems to fit particularly well here.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Holiday Desserts -- a festive 1993 cookbooklet


Yes, surprising as it may seem, 1993 is now vintage.  Here is another booklet I came across in a kitchen drawer at the old homestead.  This one is in mint condition and will soon be offered for sale in my Etsy shop.  It has a glitzy, elegant look that makes it most attractive.  I've seen a number of these recipes singly in Christmas magazines over the years, but it's so handy to have them all together.

Here's the blurb from the inside front cover:

"Now Baker's, Diamond Walnuts, and Jell-O are making it easier than ever to create luscious holiday desserts at home.  We've selected our favorite holiday recipes -- fudgy brownies, nutty cookies, tempting pies and cakes, and brought them together for you in this booklet -- all quick, all easy, all very festive.  Perfect for family get-togethers and great as gifts, these treats will add a delicious touch of sweetness to your holiday season."

Recipes include One-Bowl Brownies, Cream Cheese Brownies, and Walnut Crunch Brownies,

Thumbprints, Super Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Delectabites, Chocolate Walnut Bars, 

Double Layer Pumpkin Pie, No Bake Mini Cheesecakes, 

One Bowl Chocolate Fudge (with four variations),  Triple Dipped Treats,

German Sweet Chocolate Pie, Caribbean Fudge Pie, Praline Dream Pie, 

Spiced Cranberry Orange Mold, Holiday Poke Cake,

Coconut Candy Bar Cake, Coconut Snowballs, and Baker's Best Macaroons.

This certainly puts me in the baking mood!  What about you?

Friday, July 28, 2023

The Christmas Bazaar


What do handmade aprons,

festive crocheted hot mats,

delicate spritz cookies,
star shaped dishcloths,
decorations crafted from old Christmas cards,

 seasonal pot holders,

and fudge have in common?  These are all things one might find at a Christmas bazaar.

 Back in the day many funds were raised for good or charitable causes by way of Christmas bazaars.  One of the definitions for the noun "bazaar" in my dictionary is " a fundraising sale of goods, typically for charity".

Nowadays, bazaars are often called craft fairs or Christmas fairs (in fact, my childhood memories are of a church Christmas fair, rather than a bazaar). These events are often held in October or November with the idea that shoppers can find Christmas gifts or decorations to purchase.  I'm sure the one I remember was held in December, and people would often buy fudge, cookies, etc. to serve their holiday guests.

What got me thinking about this again was an article by Leathea Marie Jones in Decorating & Craft Ideas September 1978 featuring ideas for simple crafts one could sell at a Christmas bazaar.  It began, “Everyone loves a bazaar and half the fun of planning or attending is browsing for ideas.  So, browse away in our Christmas Bazaar to find those ‘just right’ gifts for  friends and family and take note of fund-raising items for your own bazaar.”  

This brought a memory back to me of how I always made one or more homemade ornaments for my aunt Dot for her December birthday — and how she often borrowed my ideas for her and her friends to make for their church Christmas bazaar the following year. I have a few thank-you notes from her in which she thanked me for sharing craft ideas and patterns with her.   It was all such fun — and one time, that I remember, my mother and I, and maybe one or both of my daughters, ventured up to that bazaar, about an hour away from us.  We had such a good time.

All of this prompted an idea for me for my Christmas blog, maybe a monthly or a month-long feature of bazaar type ideas.  I could feature small sewed or crochet items, along with recipes for fudge and cookies and other salable baked goods.

Who knows if I will go anywhere with this idea, but it sounds fun to me.  We will see!

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Christmas in July at Gooseberry Patch!


 Yes, starting July 25th, and running through Sunday,  July 30, Gooseberry Patch is having their Christmas in July sale!  If you've visited here much at all, you know of my love for Gooseberry Patch, their cookbooks and special Christmas books.  (You can even find a label in the label cloud just for Gooseberry Patch, and I've also reviewed many of their books here on the blog.)  Right now their Christmas in July sale is featuring their products for up to 70% off.

There are 73 items on sale, including some Christmas books but also lots of their regular cookbooks.  I'll just share a few.  You will want to check it out for yourself.

Christmas Cookie Jar, for example, is only $4.  I own this book (different format) and it's full of great cookie recipes.

 I'll Be Home for Christmas is $7.  (Regular price $17.95.)

Autumn Recipes from the Farmhouse has a stunningly beautiful cover.  I've never seen this one.  It's  only $7.

Christmas Comfort Foods is also $7 and looks like another good one.

And there are dozens more!  Head on over and do some Christmas shopping, why don't you?

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Candy Cane Christmas Company


 I recently found the Candy Cane Christmas Company on Instagram and decided to check and see if they had a website.  They do!  I took a few screenshots to show you all the sort of decor that they carry.  It has a nostalgic, vintage vibe that many of you will enjoy greatly!

Oh, the ornaments!
The most popular categories include Boxes & Buckets, Ornaments, Reindeer, Santa, Snowmen, Tabletop/Mantel Decor, Throw Pillows, and Wall Decor.

In the Nostalgic Feels corner, you will find Bubble Lights, Shiny Brites, and Dummy Boards.

Many of the items here are out of my price range, but they do have sales.  And it's an inspiring, delightful place to visit just for the fun ideas!

Head on over for a sparkling visit at Candy Cane Christmas Company and see what's new!

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

The Festive Touch


 Now here's a fun little recipe leaflet from 1961!  Published by the Nestle company, this little booklet would have come bound inside a magazine.  Its 14 recipes feature Pet evaporated milk and Nestle baking morsels.  

Pet Evaporated Milk, we are reminded, has "twice the country cream in every drop" and is "the velvet ingredient -- thin milk would never do."  And "Nestle's makes the very best chocolate (butterscotch, too).  Only Nestle's Morsels melt so smoothly, blend so evenly."

All of the recipes are pictured. They include Hot Fudge Sauce, Chocolate Frosting, No-Bake Brownies, Pineapple Bavarian (with a peppermint variation), Apple Nut Dessert, Chocolate Cherry Creams, Nut Fudge (with a double layer fudge variation), Easy Graham Bars, Chocolate Logs, Fudgy Macaroons, Toll House Marble Squares, Polka Daters, Butterscotch Crunchies (with several variations), Pumpkin Pie, and Festive Fruitcake. Most of them look really scrumptious, and it may be that someone reading this has been looking for one of these recipes for decades!

I just noticed in the photo above, which shows the entire leaflet from the back, that the colors used for the words "The Festive Touch" resemble butterscotch and chocolate.  I think that is likely purposeful.  

To me, one of the most endearing things about this little leaflet is the little scribble of red ink on the front, just above the ellipsis after the word "touch".  It looks as if someone, about to write a Christmas card or a gift tag, was testing their festive red pen to make sure it still worked.

Such a fun find!  This has just been listed in my Etsy shop.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Sweet farmhouse style ornaments


Photo from Simply

 Remember those adorable colored-pencil coasters from last week?  While browsing around at Simply, I discovered these sweet farmhouse ornaments and fell in love with them.

You can see that the components are very simple: embroidery hoops, ribbon, berries, and bottle brush trees.  There's a complete list of what you need to make these ornaments (including a glue gun, and black spray paint) on the post, along with the step by step instructions.  

I already have a good number of embroidery hoops on hand, so this will be a good way to use some of them.  I believe I have a few bottle brush trees also, and quite a bit of ribbon.  The berries may be the only thing that I have to purchase.

This would be a fun craft to work on this summer!

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Another beautiful Christmas poem


Today I'm sharing another poem from an older Ideals Christmas magazine.   This is such a beautiful description of a festive Christmas room.


A golden taper burning on the table,
A pine tree dressed in brightly colored light,
A row of boxes tied with scarlet ribbons,
A single star appearing in the night.

A wreath of evergreens outside the window,
The mistletoe and holly spread galore,
The smoldering branches in the open fireplace,
A group of carolers singing at the door.

The smell of ginger cookies in the oven,
A beaming child that scurries far and near,
The twinkling eyes, the ringing merry laugher --
Oh, Christmas, what a joyous time of year!

-- Carolyn Sue Peterson

I couldn't find a vintage Christmas card in my collection that really fit the picture this poem conjures up.  So I ended up choosing two -- a living room (I think) and a kitchen.

What a joyous time of year indeed!  I can almost smell those ginger cookies baking in the oven, can't you?

Saturday, July 22, 2023

More fabulous Christmas fabric -- "Oh What Fun"!


Christmas fabric is such fun, isn't it?  I especially love those with a vintage look.  The one above is a fun and festive length from my own stash.  I always like seeing new fabrics for each Christmas, and I've been seeing quite a few on Instagram.

"Oh What Fun" by designer Elea Lutz for Poppie Cotton is one that I recently noticed.  One of my favorite creative Instagrammers -- Dori Troutman from The Red Feedsack -- posted a photo of a gorgeous wall hanging she made using Oh What Fun fabric.  Head on over to either Instagram or The Red Feedsack to see her fabulous mini quilt!

Here are just a few screenshots of some of the fabrics from the Oh, What Fun line:

The green and pink plaids are some of my favorites.

The skating deer is just plain fun!
The snowflake fabric comes in several colors.  This is my favorite.  Just look at the sweet colors here!

 There's even a panel to use for various craft projects.  A banner, I'd guess; gift tags; ornaments -- there could be multiple ways of using this printed panel.

Feeling inspired to craft for Christmas?  I sure am!

Friday, July 21, 2023

A vintage farmyard Christmas card


 This is a sweet vintage card I found in the stash I am trying to list on Etsy.  Oh, my, I think I must have thousands of cards still to list.  And so little time.  But this one is too cute not to share.

So many details!  The farmer hanging a wreath while his wife looks on apprehensively (that ladder does look pretty rickety).  Chickens and roosters eye the farmer from above and below.  In the barn, a cow inspects the Christmas tree by the light of a wall lantern.

Inside the card, a very large barrel contains candy sticks and holly, while a green-eyed black cat peeks from behind the barrel.  The greeting wishes the recipient a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in a jolly vintage font.

The tall thin size of the card is nifty, also, and I like how the lantern motif is repeated on the front, back, and the inside of the card.  I'm guessing this card is from the 1950s -- it's a Sunshine Card.

Just a fun little card!  Hope you enjoyed seeing it!

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Christmas church scene from 1964


I acquired the magazine pictured above (Things to Make for Christmas) when clearing out the family homestead.  I hadn't really had time to look at it, but when rearranging some of my Etsy listing stash, I came upon it again recently.  And took a closer look at the cover.  Wouldn't it be nice if there were directions or a pre-printed scene bound inside the magazine?

But no.  Instead, there was this little blurb on page 2: "CHURCH SCENE: It's made by Hallmark, has nothing to assemble; simply open it like a book and it will pop up.  Set it on your holiday table and accent it with evergreen sprayed with artificial snow.  You'll find it in major stores everywhere."

 Well, not anymore.  But just for fun, I decided to check and see if one was available on Etsy or eBay.  Sure enough, check this Etsy shop listing:  


For $14 plus shipping, you can have your own.   When I looked at it a few days ago, it was in one person's cart.  So maybe not.  But isn't it sweet?

There was also this one: 

But that one is sold out. It seems a bit simpler and I think I almost like it better.

Who else wishes they made sweet items like this today?

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

What a fun handmade coaster idea!


Amazing project and photo from Ashley at

 This is an idea I've had saved for Christmas in July for some time.   It's a fun drink coaster made from a cork coaster with slices of colored pencil glued to it.  Ashley shared the project -- Colored Pencil Drink Coaster -- in 2015, so you can see that I've had it awhile.  

It looks as if the most time-consuming and difficult part of this project is sawing the colored pencils into slices.  If I make these, I will assign that part of the production to my wonderful and handy hubby.

And I really want to make two of these.  My teenage granddaughters are really into writing, and these would be perfect gifts for them, perhaps with a special mug each.

You can sort of glimpse Emily's "I Am a Writer" T-shirt in the photo above, and Julia loves writing as much as she loves books.  In fact, at the time this was taken last summer, they were both participating in a writing challenge to write 100 words a day for 100 days.  And they talked me into joining them!  Maybe I should make a coaster for myself, as well.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

7-Up Punch!


Here is a fun vintage advertisement that just might inspire a beverage option (or 3) for your holiday entertaining!  The advertising blurb reads, "Which one will it be?  They're all delicious tasting.  And they're all different.  But they have this in common: 7-Up -- that gets them off to the best possible start.  Seven-Up -- with the fresh, clean taste that accents (never covers!) the flavors of the other ingredients.  Seven-Up -- that adds the sparkle.  Spring a surprise on your holiday crowd ... Remember!  You'll want plenty of 7-Up for drinking 'as is', too!"

And, as you look at these recipes, you'll see that you will also want plenty of 7-Up for filling ice cube trays -- for two of the recipes require 2 trays of 7-up "ice cubes" each.

The first is 7-Up Red Satin punch.  It calls for apple juice and cranberry juice in addition to 7-Up.

 Next, Santa's 7-Up Surprise looks interesting. It calls for pineapple juice, orange juice, 7-Up, maraschino cherries, and --- peppermint extract?!  Just not sure about that combination.

And lastly, there is 7-Up Evergreen Bowl, which is pretty and calls for only 2 simple ingredients -- 7-Up, and lime sherbet!

This ad is from 1962 -- so, over sixty years ago!  These punch recipes do still sound good,  so you may wish to file them away for December use -- or, try them out now, in summer!  But I think I would skip the peppermint extract.